A new base has been established for Stockton-on-Tees Sea Cadets after a £460,000 refurbishment took place  on the old Hadrian Caravan building in Thornaby Place. 

It was officially opened by Captain Philip Russell RN, Captain Sea Cadets,  when he unveiled a plaque at the official launch of the facility yesterday, Thursday, 2 February. 

The riverside building has been completely transformed into a bright and modern two-storey facility. The fully-accessible building offers a ground floor wet room, a fully equipped catering galley and a lift to improve disabled access, as well as new décor and furnishings throughout. 

An adjoining annexe has also been refurbished to high standards with new changing rooms and showers for cadets and staff, a galley fitted with high quality appliances, and a disabled access ramp. Both buildings have also been installed with central heating. 

The  cadets had been based in The Cadet Centre on Martinet Road since the dismantling of HMS Kellington but the site proved inadequate and the cadets did not have any river  access. The new ‘home’ for ‘TS Kellington SCC’  is adjacent to the river and the Tees Motor Boat Club, who have kindly agreed access to their slipway for cadets and staff to use for waterborne activities. 

The building has now being called ‘Apedaile House’ in recognition of  President of Stockton-on-Tees Sea Cadets, Alderman Lynne Apedaile, who has spent two years on the project finding funding for the purchase and refurbishment of the new premises. Lynne said, “I am incredibly honoured that the cadets, staff and volunteers  have decided to do this for me and are extremely proud that we have finally reached the point of opening the new facility. The cadets, unit management team and staff, led by Chairman Mr Lindsay Eccles, have all worked incredibly hard to get this far, after near closure three years or so ago. We are all delighted that so many foundations, trusts and businesses have supported us and that Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council also supported our application for a Community Covenant Grant at the start of the process.  We couldn't have done it without all of the support we have received and we really  would like to say a sincere thank you to everyone concerned. The new facility looks fantastic and will make a real difference to our cadets as well as other district  Sea Cadet units who will all be able to access the facility for training and education experiences as well as fun activities too. 

Stockton Sea Cadets hope to involved other groups and organisations in the future and are delighted that the local branch of the  Royal British Legion have asked for an office in the building as a base to continue their excellent welfare work with serving forces personnel and ex-service veterans.” 

The Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Ken Dixon, was among the guests who attended the official launch. He said: “It was a pleasure to attend the official opening of the Stockton-on-Tees  Sea Cadets’ new base. These new and improved facilities will make a fantastic base and further help to accommodate all the work the Sea Cadets do.”

Pirates Day

Pirates Day

On the 28th of June 2014, the cadets participated in what organisers deemed as Stockton’s biggest ever fancy dress event. The day was orientated around HM Bark Endeavour and the Castlegate Quay, with activities including craft fairs, children’s entertainers and three lives music stages with more than 60 bands.

            Cadets were involved in a range of activities with a duck race at the slipway Café Infinity and a treasure hunt. The pirate themed day helped raise funds for the Unit who were heavily involved in the organisation of a wonderful day.

Mayor's Sunday

Mayor's Sunday

On the 8th of June the Unit took part in a parade up Stockton High Street with the Mayor of Stockton, Councillor Barbara Inman. The annual event saw the new mayor take the Act of Dedication to the people of the Borough in a special open air service at the Parish Gardens, with the cadets present and eager to learn more about their town.

Remembrance Day 2013

Remembrance Day 2013

Remembrance Sunday is a day of commemoration worldwide, with individuals taking the time to gather and remember the brutal cost of armed conflict. This very busy day for the Unit saw residents from across the region come to a halt on Stockton High Street as a two minute silence was held.

Cadets from the Unit paraded along the High Street alongside veterans to the Cenotaph for a service and wreath laying. Attended by MPs Alex Cunningham and James Wharton as well as the Stockton Mayor Cllr Kathryn Nelson. 

Victoria Cross Winner

Victoria Cross Winner

Commemorations surrounding one of the countless heroes during the First World War brought the cadet unit to Eston cemetery, in order to remember one who passed from life into our collective memory.

Lieutenant Richard Douglas Sandford VC, son of the Venerable Ernest Grey Sandford, Archdeacon of Exeter, was born on the 11th of May 1891. After joining the Royal Navy from Clifton College, Sandford was appointed lieutenant at the age of 26. During the First World War Lieutenant Sandford commanded the HMS C3 submarine in the Zeebrugge Raid, earning him the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award to be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

‘For most conspicuous gallantry. This officer was in command of Submarine C3 and most skilfully placed that vessel in between the piles of the viaduct before lighting his fuse and abandoning her. He eagerly undertook this hazardous enterprise, although well aware (as were all his crew) that if the means of rescue failed and he or any of his crew were in the water at the moment of the explosion, they would be killed outright by the force of such explosion.’ (The London Gazette, 1918)

Lieutenant Sandford died in North Yorkshire on the 23rd of November 1918, aged 27. Serving the Royal Navy for 14 years, Sanford VC was one of 55 First World War burials in Eston cemetery, Middlesbrough.

On the 9th of November 2013, the unit took part in a parade at Eston cemetery in honour and tribute of Lieutenant Sanford VC and all of the 900,000 young Britons who heroically and sacrificially gave their lives in a time of dire need.

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